Kids need to learn to be responsible in doing chores early, so that it becomes a lifelong habit. However, it is important to handle this the right way. Starting a five year old on dishes is a good way to lose a lot of dishes, and sending a child out to do the sweeping without instruction can quickly turn into playing in the mud. Read on to some ideas on how to get children started on chores early.
First, make sure to have a chore chart that your child understands. It is a good idea to have rewards in place for consistent chores over a length of time. Give your child a point for every week that every chore is checked off every day, and let them spend those points on rewards that they want. Talk to your child about what would be fun for them, and give them rewards that they are excited for. Four points for a sleepover, eight points for a video game system, and similar rewards are a great way to foster a connection between hard work and rewards.
For young children, the chore chart can include simple things like brushing teeth twice a day, getting dressed in the morning, and other basic tasks that you would like them to grow out of needing assistance with. This way, instead of micromanaging their getting ready, you can just remind them to fill out the chore chart. This can save a lot of time in the morning!
Other chores for children can be a little bit more complicated. It is important to make sure they are capable of handling the chore; for example, vacuuming is very difficult when you are shorter than the vacuum! It can help a lot to give children smaller versions of tools like brooms and rakes to help expand their repertoire of potential chores. Raking the yard or sweeping off the front walk can make good chores to put on the chore chart.
As children get older, they get the ability to do more complex chores. Gradually, you can replace chore chart entries for brushing teeth and putting on shoes with washing windows or vacuuming their bedroom. It is also good as children get older for them to become familiar with doing their own laundry. Make sure to teach them how to set the washer correctly, how much soap to use, and how to clean the lint trap each load. Chores like these constitute valuable life skills that they will need when they eventually leave home, so it is best to start them early!
Children work best when they have a goal, which is why a chore chart is such a great system. Giving a child a way to earn exciting outings and rewards that they want is a way to make them enthusiastic about work. This correlation between working hard and happiness is something that they will carry throughout their life, which will serve them well in the working world. Make your child a chore chart today!